Shirley woman with a head - and hat - for business, has Wow factor - The Solihull Observer

Shirley woman with a head - and hat - for business, has Wow factor

Solihull Editorial 6th Feb, 2021   0

SOLIHULL businesswoman Stephanie Rolfe really does have the Wow factor.

Steph, who owns FREDS CIC, has just been recognised by businesswoman, Jacqueline Gold CBE, for her success as a female entrepreneur, receiving a prestigious #WOW badge.

The community interest company fashion retailer was the winner selected by Jacqueline after she entered ‘Women on Wednesday’ – a competition launched in 2011 to celebrate the growing number of British entrepreneurs and businesswomen.

Mum of two Steph, from Shirley, launched FREDS in memory of her mum who sadly lost her battle with cancer.

Having witnesses first hand the devastating effect cancer can have on a family, Steph went on a mission to bring a smile to the face of every child who is diagnosed with cancer by giving them a FREDS hat for everyone one purchased.

“It started of with me designing a hat for my son’s second birthday.

“Over Sunday lunch I then told my partner I was going to launch the idea as a business.

“He’s always liked the idea of Toms shoes, buy a pair and they give a pair away, and my mum always loved hats, and it went from there.”

And so FREDS CIC was launched, and to complement the hats, Steph also designed hoodies, organic T-shirts and loungewear – all while working full time on her day job.

“My dream is to be the biggest hat supplier in the UK, have a shop in Solihull and sell every kind of hat,” said Steph.

So far she’s donated nearly 200 hats to children with cancer and hopes that one day the hats could be delivered by hand by police officers to break down the barriers between the police and young people.

Jacqueline Gold said: “”Stephanie’s passion to brighten the lives of children and support families navigating their way through trauma, sets this company apart and I wish her every success in the future.”

For more on FREDS CIC, visit

For more on Women on Wednesday, visit

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